Everybody was waiting for yesterday’s Keynote by Apple and the news is finally out. Two new iPhones, the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S, have been unveiled and the new mobile operating system iOS 7 will be available on September 18th.

Here at MobPartner, one feature in particular drew our attention since it represents interesting developments for M-commerce: Touch ID, the new Apple fingerprint identity sensor.

The new iPhone 5S will include new identification technology, a sensor that will allow users to unlock their device and buy on the App Store with the simple touch of their thumb (or index finger). Security is one of the keywords associated with the new iPhone: there is no better password than your fingerprint to protect your data.

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The little square on the home button is disappeared. In its place a sapphire glass button encircled by a steel detection ring that determines when your finger is on the button and start the recognition process. The 500ppi sensor below is capable of scanning sub-dermal layers of skin with a 360-degree readability.

Up to 5 fingerprints (family and friends) can be registered and the information will be encrypted and secured in the new A7 chip accessible only by the Touch ID sensor. In this way only the user and some trusted people can access the iPhone and make purchases with it, in total security and respect for both privacy and sensitive information.

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For the moment Apple says that user fingerprints will not be available to third parties. But when AllThingsD asked the CEO Tim Cook if they will expand the use of the fingerprint reader, he answered “You can probably imagine a lot of [other] uses”. This general statement is not excluding the possibility that developers could work on the new biometric capability and that the technology could be available for apps and mobile payments.

The introduction of fingerprint recognition is a huge step forward for smartphone protection and experts say the added security could encourage more consumers to buy through their iPhone. This could represent a great boost for mobile commerce and mobile payment authentication.

If Apple will enable retailers such eBay, PayPal or Amazon to access the fingerprint image for authentication and payment purposes, the M-commerce panorama will change completely and regular purchases via smartphone will be made in this way especially with the pull of the Cupertino-behemoth and its global presence.

Are the other phone manufacturers, namely Samsung, going to follow through with this technology?

Below the Apple’s video presenting the new Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor.

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